ken block, the 53-year old rally car driver turned gymkhana drift master, announced he and ford are parting ways for 2021. the driver is now a "free agent," according to hoonigan.
"it’s simply been a dream come true to work with the company that built the truck that my dad drove when i was a teenager," block said in a release. "i’m super appreciative to ford for the support over the years, but i am also looking forward to what an unrestricted 2021 holds, and the ability to spread my wings a bit and play with a lot of other toys.”
block signed with ford in 2010. in addition to his drift-specific stunt cars, he's raced an escort cosworth rally car, along with a handful of fiesta and focus competition cars. all played starring roles in his gymkhana video series.
“working with ford over the past decade has been awesome," block said. “from racing all over the world, to accumulating a half-billion views from gymkhana three to gymkhana ten, to creating the emmy nominated series the gymkhana files for amazon prime—along with building a fleet of fords including the iconic awd mustang hoonicorn and f-150 hoonitruck—it’s been a great partnership."
during his time with ford, block took home 19 race wins, 17 additional podium finishes, two x games medals, and points finishes in the world rally championship—the first scored for the brand by an american driver, according to hoonigan.
"all of us at ford are very grateful for ken block and his bringing the thrill of ford performance vehicles to a whole new generation of car buyers," ford performance said in a statement on twitter. "he did it in ways that were uniquely ken—with fun, energetic and extraordinary driving exhibitions that were unmatched in the automotive world, along with important victories and performances in rally and rallycross worldwide."
before his partnership with ford, block spent five years driving subaru wrx stis, beginning his professional rally career in 2005 with vermont sportscar, makers of subaru's official factory stage rally cars.
now that block is free to drive whatever he wants, it'll be interesting to see where he (and his hoonigan team) go next. a monster-branded toyota gr yaris gymkhana car, perhaps? we can only pray.